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Medtronic's (MDT) STROKE AF Trial Outcome Backs ICM Progress

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Medtronic plc (MDT - Free Report) recently announced favorable clinical trial results from the STROKE AF trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The outcome of the trial demonstrates the Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitor’s (ICM) superiority over standard cardiac monitoring routines for atrial fibrillation (AF) detection, in large and small vessel stroke patients.

The STROKE AF study reveals that long-term cardiac monitoring with the Reveal LINQ ICM aids clinicians to address the challenge of recurrent stroke in ischemic stroke patients due to significantly higher rates of AF detection compared to routine follow-ups in this high-risk population.

The latest development is expected to augment the company’s progress within its Cardiovascular business.

STROKE AF Trial at a Glance

STROKE AF, a 1:1 randomized clinical trial, has been carried out at 33 clinical sites across the United States. The study evaluated a total of 496 large vessel and small vessel ischemic stroke patients.

Clinical data from the study shows, at 12 months, 12.1% patients in the ICM arm were diagnosed with AF compared to only 1.8% in the control group. Notably, 78% of patients with AF would have gone undetected with only 30 days monitoring. The median time required for detection was 99 days. Meanwhile, 96.3% of first AF episodes were asymptomatic in ICM arm at 12 months and 55.5% of patients with detected AF experienced a stroke episode lasting over an hour.

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The company further reported that incidence rates of AF and recurrent stroke will be compared over a three-year study.

Industry Prospects

Stroke is currently one of the leading causes of death and disability around the world. Medtronic noted that each year, stroke impacts more than 795,000 people out of which above 87% are ischemic strokes (when vessels that allow blood flow to the brain are blocked). AF is a major risk factor for ischemic stroke and according to Medtronic, ischemic stroke risk for AF patients is five-fold more compared to others.

Per a report published in PharmiWeb, the global ICM market is set to witness a substantial CAGR of 8.9% in the forecast period of 2019- 2026. Apart from factors like increasing cases of cardiac arrhythmia and technological advancements, a growing geriatric population acts as a significant market driver, given greater application of ICMs to monitor heart activity.

Given the huge market potential, the positive insights from STROKE AF trial supporting MDT’s Reveal LINQ ICM seem well-timed.

Notable Developments

In June, Medtronic received the FDA approval and first U.S. implants of the SenSight Directional Lead System. The SenSight is a distinct Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) therapy that integrates the benefits of directionality with the power of sensing.

In the same month, Medtronic received the FDA go-ahead for the use of patient-specific UNiD Rods with Medtronic CD Horizon Solera Voyager and Infinity OCT spinal systems. This authorization is expected to accelerate the utility of Medtronic’s UNiDAdaptative Spine Intelligence (ASI) technology.

Share Price Performance

The stock has outperformed its industry over the past year. It has grown 24.9% compared to the industry’s 10.1% growth.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, Medtronic carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks from the Medical Products industry include PetIQ, Inc. (PETQ - Free Report) , National Vision Holdings, Inc. (EYE - Free Report) and Envista Holdings Corporation (NVST - Free Report) .

PetIQ, currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 25%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

National Vision Holdings, which carries a Zacks Rank # 1, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 23%.

Envista Holdings, which carries a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 26.40 %.

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